Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rock & Roll Bands

Five years ago, Jim, Mike, and Jon Laudie drove down to the Boston concert. They parked their car (in a surprisingly good spot) and walked towards the venue. As they approached the surprisingly dark building, they found a note. The concert was cancelled - because one of the members threw out his back! Haha! What a bunch of old men! Needless to say, the Laudie boys were crushed. The only concert they had ever bought tickets for full-price (Laudie's are notoriously cheap).

Five years later, on June 27, 2008, at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix, Mike Laudie's dreams finally came true when he attended the Boston / Styx concert. He's still smiling.

Okay, so it wasn't quite that dramatic, but Mike has been looking forward to this concert for a long time. For Father's Day / Anniversary I got him a pair of tickets and, although I'm sure he would have rather taken Jim or Jon, he did invite me to go with him. It was a lot of fun. Very loud (does that make me sound old?). I recognized a total of 1 1/2 of the songs from Styx (1/2 meaning I vaguely recognized the chorus), and recognized a whopping 8 of Boston's songs thanks to the four years of education from my husband. It really was a fun concert! It was interesting to see what generations showed up - you had the middle aged guys who listened to them when they were new, and then you have the kids of those people who still love them. Thanks Nikki and Seth for watching Amy for us so we could go!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ode to Dads

As it is Father's Day, I thought I'd share a few thoughts on the dads in my life: My dad, and my husband.

My Dad is the greatest dad in the world. He is such a strong man; I truly admire him and all he does for our family. He runs his own business doing amazing welding work (highlighted in Phoenix Home and Garden magazine, and then Home and Garden magazine - great articles! I've got a copy if anyone wants to see it!). He works long hours in order to provide our family with not only our needs but so many of our wants. I can't think of a time that I didn't get everything I needed and more! He is also a spiritual giant in our family! He has served ine a couple bishoprics for several years and has always set a great example for us. My dad is also a great friend! He takes us jet skiing, quadding, camping, and just plays around with us in the pool or wherever. Life is always more fun when he's around! Thank you dad for always being there for me. I truly don't think I could be happy with out!

My husband is a great dad! He loves his little girl so very much, even though he really wanted a boy! Nevertheless, Amy has him wrapped around her little finger and she is definitely a daddy's girl. He wouldn't trade her in for a boy now! He is such a hard worker, going to work full-time and doing school in the early mornings. He does early-morning schoolwork so that he can spend his evenings with us! He comes home and runs around with Amy and her face just lights up when he walks in the door. She loves to bring him books and sing songs with him. She also likes to be chased around the house, which he happily complies with. Amy and Mike also like to swim together. Mike grew up with a lot of young siblings, so being a dad really came easily to him. While I have to sometimes remind him that this is his daughter and he has to be a little gentler to her than he would be to his brothers, he loves her with all his heart and we love him for that! Thanks Mike, for all you do! You're an amazing daddy.

Our week in a nutshell

We sure had a fun week. Here are some of the highlights:

- Amy found her plug. I was a little nervous because she really hasn't seen it since she gave it up 4 or 5 months ago. She was adament about holding onto it, but quickly got long enough for me to hide it again. We sure were lucky with her. Not only did she happily take a plug, which made her infant and baby years easier, but she also just handed it to me one day, I hid it, and she never asked for it again. She didn't need it to sleep or anything! How did we get so lucky?

- Amy's new favorite toy is her ladybug sandbox that I've been searching for months for on Craig's List. I finally found it for ten bucks! Woo hoo! She absolutely loves it.

- My boss is out of town, so for the first time in months Mike and I have both had a Friday off! We decided to use our passes to the Wildlife World Zoo. It was a warm day, but not too bad. We were there for a couple hours and Amy really enjoyed it. She is so intrigued by animals. She can spot a dog halfway across the park, so the zoo is great because the animals are so close. This time we went into the small animal and reptile houses, which she really liked because the animals would come right up to her at the glass. And, this time she fed the giraffes which she thought were cool.

- On Saturday, the YMCA had free swimming for all Goodyear residents. We weren't sure how crowded it would be, but we thought we'd give it a shot. When we got there it looked like we had the wrong day because the "community entrance" was closed, but we went to the front desk and sure enough it was free swim day; they just make you check in and show ID to prove you're a goodyear resident now. The amazing thing was, there were probably only a dozen families there! Amy had a fantastic time running down the seated area in the water and jumping to us. The child is fearless! She jumps right in. We've gone to counting to 3 before pulling her up, hoping it will deter her a bit. But, no. She just thinks it's hilarious and does it again. I've never met a kid her age who loves to put their face under the water so much!

- Today was Father's Day, and we celebrated here at home. Mike got sausage gravy and biscuits for breakfast and T-bone steaks and baked potatoes and corn on the cob for lunch. Yum! Good choices, honey! He got his father's day present from me a couple weeks ago because it was a combined anniversary/father's day present: tickets to go see Boston next week! He's super excited. It should be fun. Amy got him a card, a barbequing book, and double stuf oreos. Thanks, Mike for being such a great dad! Amy and I love you so much!

A - She's Adorable!

Ok, I know every mom thinks this, but my daughter really IS the cutest thing in the whole world. I was nervous about getting her 18 month pictures because she's been kind of shy around strangers, but she totally played it up! They turned out so cute because she just laughed and smiled and did everthing we told her to! What a doll!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Change of Boundaries

At our stake conference today, our Stake President announced they were changing the boundaries of some of the wards. We are still in the Sarival Ward, but we lost a lot of our ward to the new ward that was created. We will miss those that are leaving us! For those of you who didn't make it or had to duck out early, everything North of Yuma that was in our ward is not part of the new ward.

A Camping We Will Go

We love camping! I admit, I like to just sit around and do nothing but play cards and eat camp food. I guess that's what I get for growing up with a scouting father. He had no boys, so we had to do the "boy stuff" with him, although some of my sisters don't love it quite as much as I do. Mike and I went camping several times when we were first married and could just pick up and go whenever we wanted without too much planning, but now it just takes more thought.

Anyway, this weekend was our annual ward campout. Props to Julianne and Bruce for picking a beautiful spot up in Prescott. It was nice and green and, despite the bugs, very pleasant. We were only there for one night, but we spent it eating nice food (burgers and hotdogs for dinner, pancakes and eggs for breakfast, smores in the middle of the night!) and playing games. It was especially nice because we could have campfires, which are always questionable as the summer goes on. We had one at the main campsite and one at our own campsite.

Amy was very good. Except for her crying spout in the middle of our Rook game, she was content to run around and play with all the other kids and just be outside. She especially liked the hammock that Mike hung up. She even fell asleep INSTANTLY once we put her warm pajamas on and tucked her into the sleeping bag. What a blessing! The weather was beautiful. In fact, once the sun came up it was downright warm still, which means we didn't freeze! Hooray! All and all, it was a fantastic trip and we look forward to going camping again later this summer. Anyone want to come?

Anniversary Trip

Mike and I celebrated our anniversary last weekend because the ward campout was the weekend of our anniversary. We are big fans of camping, so we decided to move our trip up a weekend so that we could still go with the ward. We had a great time! One of the tricks to living in Arizona is realizing that nobody wants to golf in the summer. We don't golf, so what does that have to do with anything? Well, the really nice golf resorts are practically empty during the summer, so you can find amazing deals! So this year we stayed at the Orange Tree Golf Resort in Scottsdale. It was super nice, as you can see from the pictures below. We had a really nice suite and got to enjoy the sunny weather with swimming at the pool and playing ping-pong. We also got to relax and go to some nice restaurants. One Thursday night we went to Buca Di Beppo for dinner and the Melting Pot for dessert! Yum yum! We always go to the Good Egg for one of our breakfasts (because we went there on our honeymoon, so now it's a tradition). We also went ot see Prince Caspian (highly recommend it!). All and all, it was a very relaxing trip.

On a sadder note, my Grandma Lewis (my dad's mom) passed away the week before that, so we took a break from our vacation to go to her funeral. It was very nice and my dad did a great job on her life story. Thank goodness for the gospel and for the blessing of knowing that she's with Grandpa now.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

4 Years!

Today is our 4-year Anniversary! I can't believe it's already been that long! So here is my tribute to Mike:
Mike has been an amazing husband. He is kind, compassionate, helpful, and always tries to make me happy! He is also amazingly patient, which is something I am not known for. In fact, my impatience just goes to show how patient he really is! Mike is my best friend and we have become closer in the past four years of marriage than I though possible. Yes, marriage has taken work, but the joy that we have found through our marriage is worth the effort! Mike has his plate full with a full-time job, as well as studying for his school classes, but he never complains and even wakes up early to do it so that we can spend time together in the evenings instead of burying his nose in a book. I really don't know where I would be without this amazing man who makes me want to be better every day! I love you Mike!